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Patterns of Crime Victimization in Latin America

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  • Alejandro Gaviria
  • Carmen Pagés-Serra

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we draw a profile of the victims of crime in Latin America. We show that- at least for the case of property crime - the typical victims of crime in Latin America come from rich and middle class households and tend to live in larger cities. We also show that households living in cities experiencing rapid population growth are more likely to be victimized than households living in cities with stable populations. We offer various explanations to these facts, and while we cannot yet provide definite answers to some of the questions raised by this paper, we are at least able to reject some plausible hypotheses. On the whole, our results imply that urban crime in Latin America is, to an important extent, a reflection of the inability of many cities in the region to keep up with the increasing demands for public safety brought about by a hasty and disorderly urbanization process.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Gaviria & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 1999. "Patterns of Crime Victimization in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4186, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4186
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-1295, December.
    3. Gaviria, Alejandro, 2000. "Increasing returns and the evolution of violent crime: the case of Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-25.
    4. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser, 1996. "The Social Costs of Rent Control Revisited," NBER Working Papers 5441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
    7. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mamadou Camara & Pierre Salama, 2003. "Homicides en Amérique du Sud : les pauvres sont-ils dangereux ?," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 44(174), pages 393-416.
    2. Carlos Scartascini & Ernesto H. Stein & Mariano Tommasi, 2008. "Political Institutions, State Capabilities and Public Policy: International Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1638, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. José Raimundo Carvalho & Sylvia Cristina Lavor, 2008. "Repeat criminal victimization and income inequality In Brazil," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807180945460, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    4. World Bank, 2004. "Honduras : Investment Climate Assessment, Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14556, The World Bank.
    5. Heather Berkman, 2007. "Social Exclusion and Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean," Research Department Publications 4534, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    6. Gaviria Alejandro, 2002. "Household Responses to Adverse Income Shocks in Latin America," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, March.
    7. Alejandro Gaviria & Carlos Medina & Leonardo Morales & Jairo Núñez, 2010. "The Cost of Avoiding Crime: The Case of Bogotá," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 101-132 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
    9. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch & Hugo R. Ñopo, 2008. "Happiness and Beliefs in Criminal Environments," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1489, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Arriagada, Irma & Godoy, Lorena, 2000. "Prevention or repression? The false dilemma of citizen security," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    11. Heather Berkman, 2007. "Social Exclusion and Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1962, Inter-American Development Bank.
    12. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2004. "Insecurity and welfare," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-31, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    13. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "Crime Distribution and Victim Behavior during a Crime Wave," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 175-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Alejandro Gaviria, 2001. "Household Responses to Adverse Income Shocks in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4273, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    15. Heinemann, Alessandra & Verner, Dorte, 2006. "Crime and violence in development : a literature review of Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4041, The World Bank.
    16. Mamadou Camara & Pierre Salama, 2004. "Homicidios en América del Sur: ¿los pobres son peligrosos?," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 6(10), pages 159-181, January-J.
    17. Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2002. "Social Exclusion in Latin America: Introduction and Overview," Research Department Publications 3141, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    18. Mimmi, Luisa M. & Ecer, Sencer, 2010. "An econometric study of illegal electricity connections in the urban favelas of Belo Horizonte, Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 5081-5097, September.
    19. Stefan Dercon (QEH), Tessa Bold, Cesar Calvo, "undated". "Insurance for the Poor?," QEH Working Papers qehwps125, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.

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